Shrimp and catfish are two very popular tankmates to put in an aquarium. But can cory catfish and shrimp live together?

Cory catfish and shrimp make great tank mates and can successfully live together. Both cory catfish and shrimp are flexible and aren’t aggressive, making them ideal for living together. As opposed to popular belief, cory catfish won’t eat shrimp.

Do cory catfish eat shrimp?

Unlike popular belief, cory catfish don’t eat shrimp. Even small shrimplets rarely get eaten by cory catfish. Since cory catfish aren’t made for hunting, they only eat dead shrimp or leftovers.

If we look closely at cory catfish, we can clearly see they can’t hunt for fish or kill them. Their mouth, which is equipped with two pairs of barbels, is made to scavenge for dead material and rests.

Their mouth turned downwards, and cory catfish are made to live in the bottom layer.

If you plan on breeding cory catfish, shrimp might actually be beneficial for hatching the eggs.

If you’re interested, I’ve written a comprehensive guide with all the best cory catfish tank mates.

Best shrimp to live with corydoras catfish

There are a lot of shrimp species that make great tank mates for cory catfish. Some shrimp are easier than others, making them more suitable for beginners.

Cherry shrimp

The cherry shrimp is one of the most popular shrimp on the market. They are very flexible regarding water parameters, and tank conditions and reproduce fairly easily. Their bright red coloration makes them an attractive choice for many.

Cherry shrimp are rather small, and some people claim cory catfish would eat them. Still, cherry shrimp make not easy prey and cory catfish aren’t great at hunting. In the years I’ve been keeping these shrimp and cory catfish I’ve never seen them get eaten by the cories. 

Crystal red shrimp

Crystal red shrimp are similar to cherry shrimp but are a little more difficult to care for. This makes them more suitable for a dedicated setup.

However, small cory catfish like pygmy cory catfish can be great tank mates and they are peaceful and calm. Bigger species like Corydoras aeneus (bronze cory catfish) make not as good tank mates, because they might cause more stress.

Amano shrimp

Amano shrimp are another very popular choice in the aquarium hobby. They can’t however breed in captivity since they need brackish water for their shrimplets to survive. 

Amano shrimp are relatively easy to care for and are the biggest species on this list. This makes them a good choice to live with cory catfish and they are less likely to be outcompeted for food.

Can cory catfish live with crayfish?

Crayfish are an interesting choice for many aquariums. They often have a strong personality and can become slightly aggressive. 

Crayfish can live with cory catfish, but they don’t make great tank mates. Crayfish are sometimes territorial and since they both live in the bottom layer of the tank, they might harm the Corydoras. In order to prevent this, add enough hiding spaces and make sure that the tank is large enough.

Tips for keeping cory catfish and shrimp together

1. Water parameter compability

Some shrimp are quite flexible regarding water parameters, while others are more sensitive.

Usually, Neocaridina shrimp (such as cherry shrimp) are easier than Caridina shrimp (such as crystal red shrimp). The latter often prefer soft water and are more sensitive. 

In order for the shrimp and cory catfish to feel good, I recommend a pH of 6-7 and a temperature of 74-78°F.

2. Tank Size

Cory catfish don’t do well in small tanks. In fact, a tank of 20 gallons is almost always the minimum to hold on to. Even though shrimp do fine in tanks as small as 5 gallons, cory catfish need more room to feel good.

3. Feeding

Both shrimp and cory catfish aren’t aggressive nor competitive feeders, which makes them often peacefully eat without out-competing the other. However, because cory catfish are substantially bigger than shrimp, the shrimp might not get as much access to the food.

Make sure to spread out the food you give across the tank  so that both the shrimp and cory catfish can eat enough.

Cory catfish thrive on a diet which is meat based, while shrimp also love some vegetables and plant-based pellets and algae. 

4. Substrate

Cory catfish and shrimp can be housed on similar substrate. The best choice is aquasoil, especially for caridina shrimp since it buffers the pH. Sand also does a great job. Read more on substrate for cory catfish in this article.

Conclusion: keeping shrimp and cory catfish togehter

Cory catfish and shrimp make great tank mates. Unlike popular belief, cory catfish don’t eat shrimp. They might eat small shrimplets by accident, but this is very rare. Three great shrimp to keep with cory catfish are cherry shrimp, crystal red shrimp, and Amano shrimp.

In order to keep them together successfully, make sure you have a tank of at least 20 gallons. The pH should be 6-7 and temperature 74-78°F.

So, I hope you learned a lot from this article. Feel free to read our other guides such as cory catfish and betta fish or cory catfish and goldfish, so you can build your dream tank! Also, leave a comment if you have any questions.